Tottenham face Norwegian club Tromso on Thursday in the Europa League. Spurs supporters can be forgiven for not knowing much about their opponents, with the Norwegian side travelling to England for the first time since facing Chelsea in the 1998/99 Cup Winners' Cup.
We spoke to Tromso supporters' club Isberget's chairman Alf Edvard Masternes about what Spurs can expect from the travelling support, as well as what Tottenham fans who make the journey might find when they travel to Norway:
- How much are the Tromso fans looking forward to the game against Tottenham?
"The supporters of Tromso IL (TIL) were very pleased when we drew Tottenham. After a long time (over 13 years), we will have a game in England again. We’re looking forward to it!
"You know, a lot of Norwegian supporters also follow English teams alongside their Norwegian teams, both in the Premier League and in lower divisions."
- Do you hope to have a similar result to when Tromso beat Chelsea 3-2 in 1997/98?
"It’s been several years since we met Chelsea, but in the meantime we’ve beaten quite big, Turkish teams [Galatasaray, Besiktas], and games like that will never be forgotten. I sincerely hope that playing at White Hart Lane will be an experience both the team and the fans will never forget.
"We’ve been invited to a pub close to White Hart Lane. We respect that not all of the pubs nearby allow visiting supporters, but I can guarantee you that none of our supporters have violent intentions, as we all are here to grab a couple of pints before the game, sing some songs and support our team at the stadium."
- Will the Spurs fans get a warm welcome when they come to Tromso?
"We’ve always had an important tradition here in Tromso to always give the visiting supporters a warm welcome to town. We would like to continue with this, as we have a very good supporter culture in Tromso, maybe a little better than other places in Norway, Scandinavia and Europe.
"The pubs and other supporter locations will stay open as long as everyone behaves, though I don’t think this will be a problem as we’re all going to be there to just get along and have a good time!"
- What kind of atmosphere will there be in the stadium?
"We hope that a lot of people will show up at White Hart Lane! That way we’ll experience what a big match in London feels like.
"Our arena, Alfheim Stadion, is much smaller than your regular stadiums, only housing about 6000 supporters for the European League. You can only imagine how quick the tickets will sell out!
"As for the game in Tromso, a lot of Tottenham’s supporters from northern Norway, along with the the rest of the country and Scandinavia will be present to support their team. We also have a lot of supporters spread out around Europe who will travel to Tromso and support TIL. I have no doubt that this will be an absolutely wonderful experience, with chances of seeing the Northern Lights if we’re lucky!"
- What kind of town is Tromso? What can travelling supporters do while they are there?
"Tromso is what we lovingly call the Paris of the North, or Nordens Paris, if you will. Tromso is a university city, with around 10,000 students coming to town every year. There are about 120-130 nationalities in the city, so we’re all used to sharing our beloved city with people from other countries.
"Tromso is actually primarily an old hunting and fishing town, but now we also house one of the main hospitals in Northern Norway and there are a lot of jobs within the service business.
"Tottenham supporters will be able to experience stunning nature and wildlife, visit the Arctic museum, go to the local pubs or simply just relax and enjoy life up north. As mentioned, hopefully they’ll also get to experience a truly magical show by the Northern Lights!
"When Tromso meet Tottenham, we’ll be in the darkest quarter of the year in northern Norway, and maybe just that will be a completely different and interesting experience for the Brits!"
Isberget are the main Tromso IL supporters group, and can be found at isberget.no.
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